There are many moments when I am proud of my kids. Their grades and effort at school always sends me beaming. The way they treat their family and friends is with such kindness. When someone compliments me on my kids it always makes me proud. Whether it is because of their manners or their spirit it always fills my heart to hear someone boast about them.
When Jacob was little I would get so frustrated because I wanted and expected so much from him. I wanted him to be on his best behavior at all times thinking that what he did or said reflected on my parenting. I guess that is one of the fears with becoming a new parent. Finally, Tod sat me down and gave me a very honest lesson in "lowering my expectations". At first I thought he was crazy and he didn't know what he was talking about. I am the mother. I am the one that people will judge if my kids do anything wrong. What does he know.
Over the last couple of years I have taken his advice. I have "lowered my expectations" in a way. I have learned to just step back and allow my boys to learn from their mistakes and take note on others behavior both good and bad. We continue to have conversations on what is acceptable and expected, but we are very loose on the interpretation. My apron strings are not as tight as they used to be. Don't get me wrong...I still hover....a lot.
This week Jacob has been in basketball camp at our local YMCA. He loves it. Every afternoon he shows me what all he has learned and wakes up early to practice in the garage before we go. Today when I picked him up he was very quiet. I asked if anything was wrong and he said, "No. Can I watch some TV when we get home. I'm tired." Sure. It has been a long week.
We were only home a few minutes when I get a call from the Y. His basketball coach called me to tell me about an incident that happened at camp today. I went in the next room and listened in private. Jacob overheard a conversation between two boys. An older boy told a younger boy that he was going to bring a gun to camp tomorrow and someone was going to die. I was beside myself with shock when I heard this. The younger boy was so afraid. Jacob took the younger boy to the coach and told him everything he heard. The older boy admitted what he said. The Y has a zero tolerance in these matters (this is actually the first time this has happened there) and this child has been permanently released from camp and can no longer attend the Y.
The coach was calling me to tell me how proud she was of Jacob. She said that he certainly did the right thing and should be proud of himself for informing the coach right away. She said that it took courage to stand up to an older kid and stick up for someone else. I was teary when I hung up.
I asked Jacob what happened today at camp. He retold the same story the coach did. I gave him a big hug and told him how proud I was of him. He said that he knew he had to tell on the older boy, but felt bad because he was getting in so much trouble. He felt like it was his fault. Oh...this is why he was so quiet.
We had a talk about sometimes doing the right thing can be a very hard thing to do. I am so very proud of him.